29 April 2010

Water risks, campaign promises, bogus green claims and other company, government and industry green info

Top Stories

Lloyd's '360 Report' Examines Water Scarcity Threats to Business.reliability high.
"A new report in Lloyd's "360" series examines the threats posed to business as a result of the increasing scarcity of water. According to the report, Global water scarcity: risks and challenges for business, prepared in cooperation with the conservation organization the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), both continued population growth and climate change are the principle causes. The report concludes that "businesses will have to address and manage the risk of water scarcity in the future, highlighting that all goods require water at some point in their production, as well as it being the most important human resource. As water resources become scarce, even companies that hold a water license – which entitles them to use a set amount of water – may face risks as governments seek to re-allocate water to priority users." More highlights of report. See Insurance Journal. PDF of report here. [Go long on water?]

Regulators Approve First Offshore Wind Farm in U.S.reliability high.
"After nine years of regulatory review, the federal government gave the green light Wednesday to the nation’s first offshore wind farm, a highly contested project off the coast of Cape Cod. The approval of the 130-turbine farm gives a significant boost to the nascent offshore wind industry in the United States, which has lagged far behind Europe and China in harnessing the strong and steady power of ocean breezes to provide electricity to homes and businesses. ... Several regulatory hurdles remain, and opponents of the wind farm have vowed to go to court, potentially stalling Cape Wind for several more years." Story in The New York Times. [U.S. has lots of room and wind for "onshore" projects, so offshore hasn't been as great a priority compared to Europe? On the other hand offshore can be close to demand and save transmission costs. But then again, offshore construction costs are higher. U.S. is still feeling its way.]

Britain's environmental politics are a bit dull.reliability high.
"There are many thrilling aspects to the British election due to be held on May 6th. A hard-fought battle over environmental priorities is not one of them. Climate is the top environmental issue across the board, and the three major parties, Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats, broadly agree on the need for measures to cut carbon dioxide emissions steeply. So, for that matter, do the regional parties and most of the minor parties." More on parties' positions. See The Economist Green.View column. [Denial and delay only among fringe parties in Britain--so different from the U.S. It's what the voters want.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

PFC plans arm to fund green projects.reliability high.
"The [Indian] government-run Power Finance Corporation (PFC) wants to increase its presence in the rapidly growing renewable energy sector. The company plans to incorporate a subsidiary to focus on non-conventional energy sources such as wind power, solar and biomass projects. A PFC official told Business Standard, 'The company sanctioned Rs 603 crore for renewable energy projects and disbursed Rs 266 crore in 2009-10. In 2010-11, PFC is expected to sanction Rs 1,500 crore and disburse Rs 350 crore in the segment. Thus, it has worked out the modalities to spin off a subsidiary to look after renewable power projects.'" From Business Standard.

Tesco, Sainsbury's and Ecover products 'lack evidence' for green claims: Which?reliability high.
"Exaggerated or apparently unsubstantiated green claims are being used by some companies to sell so-called "eco" products, according to a consumer group. A Which? study of 14 household items including laundry tablets, toilet cleaners and nappies found almost half were marketed with green claims that the companies did not support with convincing evidence. Tesco had agreed to alter the packaging of its Tesco Naturally toilet cleaner as a result of the research, Which? said." Story in The Guardian. PDF of the report here.

First Solar Agrees to Acquire NextLight Renewable Power, LLC.reliability high.
"First Solar Inc. and NextLight Renewable Power, LLC today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for First Solar to acquire NextLight, a leading developer of utility-scale solar projects in the southwestern United States. The acquisition includes a 1,100 megawatt (MW) solar project pipeline ... . ... Total consideration for the transaction is approximately $285 million". See MarketWatch from Business Wire

US Cotton launches LCA project.reliability high.
"Key members of the US cotton industry are coming together to compile a comprehensive cotton lifecycle inventory (LCI). Called Vision 21, the inventory’s data is intended to serve as a foundation for global cotton lifecycle evaluations and a credible base for sustainable textile operations. ... the US cotton industry is confident that a transparent and well-documented cotton lifecycle inventory - one that easily can be integrated into both proprietary and open source LCA software - will benefit the industry. And, along with data set collection and tool creation, the ultimate goal is to make the information globally available." See EcoTextile News.

Government and Regulation

Too Busy for Oil Safety Awards.reliability high.
"The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service, responsible for overseeing oil drilling on public land and offshore, was scheduled to present its annual award for exemplary safety and environmental management by offshore oil industry operators next week. BP, the oil company that contracted with the rig operator of the well that blew in the Gulf of Mexico last week, leaving three men injured and 11 missing and presumed dead, was one of the finalists in the big company category. ... 'The ongoing situation with the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling accident has caused the M.M.S. to dedicate considerable resources to the successful resolution of this event, which will conflict with holding this ceremony next week,' the agency said in a statement on Wednesday." See The New York Times Green blog. [Oops.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]